This is my favorite album by Half-Handed Cloud, for the songwriting is spectacular. The songs have something that is rather unique, their theme is Biblical and technically I think that makes Half-Handed Cloud a Christian band. However, the music is completely un-preachy and doesn't have that sickening praising-the-lord repetition that is contemporary Christian music. Jason Ringhofer is the man responsible for the "band" (normally just him with a ton of instruments and one other guy he managed to get to tour with him). As this is the case, Ringhofers previous work in Wookieback should be taken into account. Wookieback was more or less the same concept of short, focused pop ditties but the subject was sci-fi stories instead of Biblical ones. When thought of like this Half-Handed Cloud loses its distasteful Christian stigma and becomes more of a musical illustrations of some far-out tales (which the Bible is compared to modern life, and if it wasn't there wouldn't be a need for ministers to explain it). If you can think of it like this then listening to Thy Is a Word & Feet Need Lamps is an amazingly pioneering type of album, and is entirely inspired lyrically by the old testament (absolutely no Jesus references). Ringhofer's musical abilities have increased since Wookieback and even beginning this project, thus giving the album a more polished and composed feeling than previous works and in fact the songs are longer than the usual fare (over a minute, sometimes two). One thing I strongly encourage is to see him play live. I did once and he had no less than four instruments at his disposal at any given time and the man who toured with him the same. To see them successfully manage that much and make such beautiful pop songs was truly exciting. With any luck you can get to see him at a small venue (I saw him in a University of Michigan dormitory cafeteria), where you speak to him and buy some of his wares for he's a genuinely delightful fellow.
To be had here:
Half-Handed Cloud - Thy Is a Word & Feet Need Lamps [256 kbps]